The Peach Truck Republic, Parson's Farm
© 2006 All Rights Reserved

 

Chapel Hill

I turn to you sweet woman,
And I see man of your dreams.
But I know the truth you’re beholding,
And I know to make-believe

I turn to you sweet woman
That I might begin a new
—So many times, lies and secrets
That I’ve kept from you.

I turn to you sweet woman
And I see the years gone by
—Two souls chasing rainbows,
And dancing in the darkness of night.

I turn to you, woman
And I hear the sweet by and by
Sing me that song; say praise, say hallelujah,
And I’ll take to the wind and fly.

Sweet woman, lead me on
Sweet woman, lead me on

 

Stepping Stones

Let's run, run away. If you’ll lead I’ll follow.
One word to say, and we can run away.

You spoke my name and woke up my soul
—One sunny Sunday, bonnets and bolos.
I was skinny as a scarecrow, a playing on my banjo.
You spoke my name, and I was sure to follow.

I'd lie and wait, stare up at your window.
You’d look my way, and I'd fly like a sparrow.
We danced a round—a tango, go dancing on our tiptoes.
You’d look my way, and I was sure to follow.

I’d give and take, beg, steal or borrow.
Who can say where I placed my halo?
Who could know? Who to bless my soul?
You spoke my name, and I was sure to follow.

Oh you know I'll follow you. If you lead I'll follow you.
So we can run away.

 

Brothers and Sisters

Brothers and sisters—all here together, all gathered round,
Proud sons and daughters telling all the news they heard about.
Speaking out ‘bout where we’re going, looking back to where it is we’ve been,
And everything is right today. Oh life is good and sweet and new again.

Down from the mountain, up through the valley and round the bend
—A country mile in the pouring rain, a downhill ride back where we began.
Raised up from children, raised up right to stand up on our own
—A homegrown congregation harvesting the seed that we have sown.

Well now everyone is welcome. You can come on in or you can move along
—A chorus of ten thousand people all joined together in one song.
Oh yes, everyone is welcome. The door is open. You can come on in
—Hair down and southbound on to the Promised Land.

Oh I’ve seen the clouds come rolling, and it looked like rain.
And I’ve seen the daylight breaking, telling me we’ll meet again.




True and Blue


Do I know you? Yes I do. You’re my old friend.
True blue, so true—where do I begin?

Oh do I know you. Yes I do. You’re my old friend.
True blue, so true, and here we are again.
Take another look at me, another look and you will see
How long it has taken me to be…just as I am.

 

A Friend in Kind

I've locked the door and lost the key, gone out the window of opportunity.
Now I'm passing time so casually, broken glass all down around my feet,
—All down around my feet.

You need not know what truth is mine to hold my hand and reason why I'm crying.
And if it pleases you I've been used up, you could hand to me your loving cup of sunshine.

Hold your breath—one, two, three—close your eyes, and tell me what it is that you see:
Holding hands and spinning free, everybody’s spinning around the old oak tree
—Down around the old oak tree.

Ten years gone from my life and nobody knows the reason why I'm crying.
Lift me up, and light my way—up, up and away on a ray of sunshine.

Sinner man told me so—Just as I am, not by the seeds I have sown.
Curse my mind and curse my bones. Kin of the devil ain’t never gonna take me home
—Never gonna take me home.

Sinner man by my side, the first to come will be the last in line.
And if I die before I wake, I pray dear Lord my soul you’ll make like sunshine.

Could you be a friend of mine? I'd treat you in kind.


Parson’s Refrain


No more, “Wait, wait don’t tell me” anyway.
I’m hanging on every word you say.

Tell me everything I am to become.
Tell me how to be a faithful son.
Tell me how to see where you’re coming from.
Tell me won’t you tell me what’s been going on.

Tell me what’s been going on down here.

 

Beulah Land

Who's that knocking on my door?
Come round to see me off, I know.
A little birdie told me, so
I’ll take one last look before I go.

Who's that calling out my name,
Turning me around to better days?
Maybe you don't mean me no shame.
Maybe you've come to run away.

Who's there looking round for me?
Well, momma where'd you think I'd be?
Look round and who do you see
Looking at you looking back at me?

Knock and it will open / Bring yourself right in /
Look for what I'm needing / You’re gonna find you made a friend

I'm going down to Beulah Land and hope to save my soul.
Lover you can take my hand, or I can go alone. I’m moving on.

 

Birds of Paradise

Just to find a feather, the four winds forever blow.
And I know the will of heaven shall one day make itself known.
While I sing my song, I ride on the wings of my soul
—High up on the breeze, a feather made of flesh and bone.

Father told me how to build a house and home,
But I turned like a stranger to find myself alone.
The last to find kindness, the first one to throw a stone,
I’ve come from the darkness and fear not what has been shown.

Just to find a feather, the four winds forever blow.
And I know the will of heaven shall one day make itself known.
While I sing my song, I ride on the wings of my soul
—High up on the breeze, a feather made of flesh and bone.

Now I’ve no more worries, no chains to hold me;
The birds of paradise have flown.

 

Gathered at the River

It’s my time for dying. The fountain of life is calling me home.
The water is falling. The river is rising up for my soul.
Well it’s my time, but I don’t want to go.

It’s my time for dying. A sinful life is all that I’ve known.
For women and wine forsaken, for taking all of my hope,
Well it’s my time, but I don’t want to go.

It’s my time for dying. I’m seeing the light. My sunrise is gone.
No savior in sight, no shoulder that I might cry on,
Well it’s my time, but I don’t want to go.

 

The Bridge

Sunday, thinking of Monday
…First a cup of coffee, then I’ll begin again.
Hurry then; don’t be late for them.
Hurry and wait—a taste less than pleasing.
They’ll say time waits not for men
—Then how to start over, how to begin again?

Rolling a number, nice and thin,
To pass the time ‘til I can begin again.
A Holiday, ‘tis the season
—A sunny day here with all my friends.
Sunrise, sunset—the day must end.
We turn around but cannot begin again.

They say that I must be leaving
—No way to stay, no way to start again.
But I say times are changing.
And so I pray that I may begin again.

Wait, I’m so near the end.
How will I ever begin again?

 

Sink or Swim

Pokerfaced opossum sitting on a fence,
He proceeds with caution and common sense
And he’s a firm believer or so he tells her,
“Honey you know everything is heaven sent”

Honeysuckle blossom out on the wind
—Head all full of worries, not a single friend.
She’s been looking for trouble, and she’s seeing double,
Feathers all ruffled since ever she met him.

Stone-faced with a word of faith for the choir,
A songbird with a match to catch on fire.
Oh the Pied Piper, he plays it all by ear,
‘A playing musical chairs with original sin.

Put on airs put on ice,
She’s a back-burned lover in the middle of the night
And why is she so kind? The sleeping dog still lies
As she puts on her pant legs one at a time for him.

No more tricks up the sleeve to weave,
No slight of hand behind no tapestry.
And she’s weak in the knees, just like Adam done to Eve,
Quiet as a mouse in a garden of thieves and friends.

Sleeping at the wheel, rolling down the track
A magical world all painted black
Oh but at the drop of a hat, he’d put the rabbit back,
A needle lost in a stack of hay again.

...Swim out in the cool water, out to the deepest end
They call out to the Father
Go down by the river and watch them all fall in.

And down by the river we’re the best of friends
Gathered around to wash down our sins
Oh there comes a time you’ve got to jump right in.
Oh there will come a time, we either sink or swim.

 

Pride and All

A taproom saloon in Arkansas—
I cut that rug and had myself a ball (but that ain’t all).

Honky-tonk and hog jowls,
Licking all the salt off of the plate y’all,
Writing words up on the wall,
Yeah, my pride was just fine before the fall.

A waterhole barroom of a dancehall,
Wall to wall waterfalls of alcohol,
Thinking down from ten foot tall,
Yeah, my pride was just fine before the fall.

I say hey now y’all: don’t it beat all you ever saw?
The bigger that they are and all, pride comes and then you fall.

 

Bye-Bye Blacksheep

Bittersweet black sheep in a big bad wolf skin,
Buttercup cut up, baby turn the sauce up to a ten.
My mouth is all a water. My hair is all a standing on end.
Oh beggar boy you cannot choose too much ado about nothing.

Well it seeming like a hundred degrees every time I come in your kitchen.
But it ain’t no trick up the sleeve that keeps the mercury a rising:
You see the man bites a dog and the dog bites on his next of kin;
So why you feed the mouth that bites when you try to lend a hand?

Well if necessity is the mother of all invention,
Then a misery breeds the company that you have been a keeping.
Well now, you stand and will not wash your hands of them
—No, not even by the hair on your chinny-chin-chin.

Well, you come in need, you come indeed, in feast and in famine.
Lost and found, you come around as they are a leaving.
Down wind, down nose, take a good dose of your own medicine
—Yeah you can taste what it means to pay the wages of sin.

Well I been waiting…For you to run to your woman,
Oh, to see you win back your friends, Yeah for you to find your religion,
Or til you fall back down again.
(All fall down. Fall again. All fall down, til you fall back down again).

 

Parson’s Song

River rising, thunder and lightening,
Cold winds blow, and night is coming on.
Sing along. Sing til the morning comes.

Shadows passing, songbird crying,
Oh so lonesome, roads less traveled on
—Sing along. Sing til the morning comes.

Daylight breaking, Father's calling,
So few to sing but many called upon
—Sing Along. Sing til the morning comes.

Sing an invitation.
Sing for grace to carry on.

Sunday morning, hearts rejoicing,
Songs for singing and grace to carry on
—Sing along.

 

Ten Years Gone

Ain't nothing to gain, nothing to lose.
All my love’s been in vain, and I stand accused.
‘Cause there ain't no me without you.

Time on my hands seemed long past due.
And the best made plans seemed tried and true.
But there ain't no me without you.

A house on a hill and baby's shoes,
A window sill and skies of blue,
But there ain't no me without you.

The right turned to wrong—shot through and through.
And I knew all along who loved whom
‘Cause there ain't no me without you.
There ain't no me without you.

 

Almanac

Sweet songs 'bout paying ransom; sweet child, take your rest.
The work is done, no need to worry. Sweet Mary, your boy was blessed.

Daddy's home, tall and handsome. Put on your Sunday best.
Come along. Best you hurry. Won’t do no good to protest.

Sarah Grace and Sally Mae—Tell me Johnny where's your daughters?
High in the clouds, feet on the ground—a parson's song in full splendor.
Remedies grown up from seed—tell me please who is your gardener?
Strychnine streamlined, Laurel and Oleander.

Harvest time has come round, and I see the love of my father.
The jubilee is back in town, and we’re all here together.

Wish I may, wish I might. First star I see tonight,
Shine on star bright—a stepping stone to paradise
.

 

Parson’s Lament

Fathers, speak unto your sons,
A whispered word—Temptation.

To worship thee, angels come,
King of kings—Temptation.

A crown received for songs unsung,
In praise to thee—Temptation.

The will unborn, yet kingdoms come
—The fevered burn of temptation.

Ye shall be as gods,
As fathers unto sons,
Whispered though it was
—Temptation.

 

Sugar Hill

I turn to you, sweet woman, and count the years one by one.
And I weigh my expectations and I’m amazed by what has come.

No need to hide from time forsaken. We were both oh so young.
No need to mourn those satisfactions lost in the shadows of things undone.

We fell in love with raising children, each proud to be his mother’s son.
And you and I, we’re not unlike them: We learned to walk, and we learned to run.

We built our home up here from nothing. We set its stones one by one.
And we can look out upon our garden without thought of what’s undone.

I turn to you, sweet woman, and count the years one by one.
And I weigh my expectations and I’m amazed by what has come.

I look out on the horizon, and I recall all that we’ve done.
And I know you see this new beginning—no end to come.

Sweet woman, just lead me on.

 

Pastureland

Springtime, reciting nursery rhymes,
Pretty lines on a southbound breeze

Twilight, day turns to night
No where to go, no one to please
Time flies, you say my oh my
But stay a little while more with me

Starlight, blind by your blue eyes
Running down the fencerow wild and free
Fireflies taking in the moonlight
And mammas calling after me

White lies, no one to despise
I'm baptized and I'm redeemed
Nickel and dime, just getting by
Bowing down on our hands knees

Long night, not long til sunrise,
Being born to die like you and me
Goodnight, why say goodbye?
You and I have every want and every need

Ain't that the way it ought to be?

 

Faith Alone

She said, “Welcome to the land of opportunity.
You pay your dues in blood and sweat to find your destiny.

Just you count your blessings boy—two eyes, two hands, two feet.
Keep your wits about you. Rust don’t ever sleep.

You just might get you something for nothing if you’re sweet,
But you won’t know your place any more than you know your family.”

It’s by your fruits ye shall be known—not words, just deeds.
But taking things you give to me ain’t virtuosity.
One man’s religion is another man’s disease.
A star-crossed time and place is all that ever baptized me.

Momma said God wrote my name in the book of life he keeps
Then Daddy said I had to make the same, but the truth is make-believe.
I don’t know any better than to live and learn these things,
Somebody handing out freedom ain’t nothing but a thief.

I was a fool to believe that I was worthy of all my dreams.
 

 

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